As Dee gets closer to finishing, the varied weather reflects her mixed emotions 10/5/06

Date9 May 2006 at 2259

PositionN 33° 49′ / W 26° 37′

Happy Birthday to Harry Spedding and to Neil Gledhill!

My plan was to be back for Harry’s birthday, but clearly I didn’t make it, so for that I apologise.

My day was very different from the sunshine and stillness of yesterday. We did find some breeze and start moving again and we sailed into a sky full of various clouds. Some formed thick bands of rain filled clouds, some were patchy allowing the sun to streak through and some just covered us like a blanket. At times we had lots of wind and made good progress again, then we would have a complete change of course with some new wind, then we would be left wallowing in a swell that rocked Aviva but no wind to help us plough through it. A real mixed bag and tonight looks like it will continue. The only good thing about the rain is that it has washed the salt off Aviva so she is no longer sticky.

I had three ships pass me today and looking at their course and my position on the chart I would guess that these ships are on route to or from the Straits of Gibraltar, forming the gateway to the Mediterranean. I think that life out here on the ocean will start to get busier now.

I have just been blown away by the messages I have received over the last couple of days and even shed a tear or two today. I remembered the days heading south in the Atlantic when the messages of support bought tears to my eyes as I was adjusting to being alone for this adventure, and there were tears in times when the conditions were at their worst and I felt so remote in the Southern Ocean. Now the tears are from being astounded at the effect Aviva and I are having on so many lives around the world. It is truly amazing and whilst much of the praise is to Aviva, the shore team, and myself, it is your support and messages that have kept me going. The opportunity to share the highlights and the low points of the adventure with you in the daily log has helped me enormously. I have enjoyed taking you all on the journey with me around the world.

It has been referred to as the end of the journey and the end of the daily log, but for Aviva and I, crossing the line is just the end of us sailing alone together. We will then be heading towards Southampton with mixed emotions to our arrival and then we’ll be back on land, or in Aviva’s case attached to land, and integrating ourselves back into everyday life again. During our adventure we have had storms, damage, icebergs, scorching heat and flat calm seas but on this next stage we will face supermarket shopping, driving at a speed faster than nine knots (11mph), making more than one cup of tea and having other people involved in our lives everyday. I think that some of the funniest stories are yet to come and I will be sharing these first few days on land with you by continuing my daily log.

Dee & Aviva